Author Archives: Donn

Ducati September 8, 2015 posted by Donn

Nuanced – 1991 Ducati 907IE

Incremental improvements made over the years of production can often add up to make the final model year or two the ones to buy, and that is certainly the case with the Ducati Paso, made 1986-92.  Introduced as an air-cooled 750, the Paso evolved into a 900cc water-cooled, fuel-injected sportbike with a slippery fairing which covers all the mechanicals.

20150907 1991 ducati 907ie right front

1991 Ducati 907ie for sale on eBay

20150907 1991 ducati 907ie left

The 907IE has a strong ( and rare for Ducati ) square tubing dual cradle frame, completely concealed by the fairing.  Water cooling was added to the 904cc engine in 1989, though the heads maintained some of their cooling fins, making the system work better overall.  Weber fuel injection gave the 90 hp engine a smooth power curve with good torque available from 3000 rpm.  Marzocchi supplied the 42mm forks and rear monoshock, which received excellent reviews.  Brembo made the 4-piston calipers for the dual 300mm front brakes, with two-piston 245mm rear.  One major update to the driveline was 17-inch tires front and rear, more important these days as 16-inch tires are not widely available.

20150907 1991 ducati 907ie right rear

Offered by a St. Louis specialty car store, this 907IE looks great with under 5,500 miles.  Corbin seat and Termignoni carbon mufflers appear to be the only updates, and a missing turn signal lens the only squawk.  From the eBay auction:

  • Same Owner Since 1998!
  • Chassis & engine numbers matching
  • Used in Ellese Tennis Shoe commercial in Italy
  • 904cc SOHC “L” V-twin engine
  • 6-speed transmission
  • Termigoni exhaust
  • Weber Marelli fuel-injection
  • Brembo front & rear brakes
  • 3-piece Brembo wheels
  • Veglia instruments
  • Only 5,467 original miles

20150907 1991 ducati 907ie right grip  20150907 1991 ducati 907ie left front wheel

20150907 1991 ducati 907ie right fairing detail  20150907 1991 ducati 907ie left seat detail

Reviewed as a great handler with nicely tuned fuel injection, the 907IE is the Paso to own.  The dry multi-plate but hydraulically activated clutch and six-speed trans also impressed the media.  Fairly low clip-ons make the country more fun than the city, though you could certainly add bar risers.  A love-it-or-hate-it affair, the all-inclusive bodywork looks even better in person than pictures.  A pair of cam belts might be in order unless some history is available, but that points out one of the reasons to consider the Desmodue, maintenance that won't be a deal-breaker...

-donn

Nuanced – 1991 Ducati 907IE
Triumph September 3, 2015 posted by Donn

Red Arrow – 2003 Triumph Daytona 955i

Renamed the 955i in 1999 after the confusing introduction as the T595, Triumph's big triple had Lotus engineering under the bodywork.  A re-design in 2002 ( the 100th year of Triumph motorcycles ) resulted in 149 hp and a less generic fairing design.  The Daytona maintained the strong dual-tube perimeter frame and re-introduced the alloy single-sided swingarm.

20150903 2003 triumph daytona 955i right front

2003 Triumph Daytona 955i

20150903 2003 triumph daytona 955i left

With forged steel crank and connecting rods, and forged aluminum pistons, the 955i could cope with 12:1 compression and nearly 11,000 rpm.  Handling the 155 mph are conventional forks and rear monoshock, kept in check by 320mm dual front disks with 220mm rear.  The fairings and carbon infill panels by transportation designer Gareth Davies hang together very well, the carbon complementing the black seat.  Close to 450 lbs. fueled, the 955i tested steady and smoothly powerful if not super quick.

20150903 2003 triumph daytona 955i right rear

Offered by a Milwaukee dealer, there are lots of photos of the Daytona and it looks very good.  Substantially stock, it does have an aftermarket 3-into-1 exhaust with carbon muffler, which is nice with the other carbon details.  Tires appear to be about half-life, on those racey white wheels.  From the eBay auction:

The Daytona 955i remains one of the few true superbikes to offer a rare combination of astonishing performance and maximum usability. Delivering 147bhp from its fuel-injected 955cc engine, the sheer drive from the second generation three-cylinder power unit remains one of its most alluring characteristics. Not to mention that the three-cylinder engine provides a unique sound that stands out in a crowd of four-cylinder sportbikes.

20150903 2003 triumph daytona 955i binnacle  20150903 2003 triumph daytona 955i left fairing detail

20150903 2003 triumph daytona 955i right seat detail  20150903 2003 triumph daytona 955i right front wheel

With just over 14,000 miles, this 955i is ready for a lot more fun.  The bodywork is in nice shape, with no apparent incidents.  No telling what the reserve might be, but if the service history could be developed ( or some maintenance negotiated ) this superbike might just be an excellent value.  All it needs is a white stripe, a larger Union Jack and maybe a roundel or two...

20150903 red arrows

-donn

 

Red Arrow – 2003 Triumph Daytona 955i
Bimota September 2, 2015 posted by Donn

La Piccolina – 1988 Bimota YB7

Quite rare stateside, the Yamaha 400-four powered Bimota YB7 might be the exotic you feel safe sending your girlfriend out on.  While most of the 321 production models went to Japan ( due to insurance regulations ), a handful has found there way here.  Though you can wind it out in every gear, the feather weight makes the YB7 probably Bimota's most streetable bike.

20150902 1988 bimota yb7 left detail

1988 Bimota YB7 for sale on eBay

20150902 1988 bimota yb7 right

Reporting 65 hp at 12,000 rpm, you have to get deep into the 4-valve inline four to go places.  But you're not swimming alone - clearly oversized aluminum perimeter frame is welded to billet connectors, with matching aluminum swingarm.  42mm Marzocchi forks are followed by Ohlins monoshock, all kept in check by dual 280mm front disks, 230mm rear.  The headline news at the first corner is the "vintage" weight of around 350 lbs., making this a thoroughly flickable ride.

20150902 1988 bimota yb7 left front

From the stable of a Conn. collector, this Bimota has under 5,000 miles, not a boatload of eBay photos, but some good information in the auction:

Only 320 units made for the world wide market it is believed that less than 20 were delivered to the United States making this a very rare jewel.  Most of the production went to Japan where the 400cc motor capacity was the largest bike you could ride at the time.  This is a wicked cool little bike.  It features the hand welded  huge aluminum beam frame that Bimota is known for as well as the top quality Marzoochi/Ohlins suspension, massive Brembo brakes and Bimota spec OSCAM wheels.   For power you got a screaming 14,000rpm Yamaha  FZR400SP power plant.  Cool thing about this bike is you can sit on it and touch the ground flat footed if you are under 5'5".  My wife and daughter both rode this with no problem.  I'm 5'11" and it fit me perfectly.  It's so dam light at about 325lbs. It flicks from side to side so quickly its amazing. Probably the most fun bike to ride in my whole collection. This particular bike came to me a few years back from it's first owner.  It's in real nice condition.  It has not ever been crashed but a couple scratched on the left  side motor cover and the bar end say it did fall over once.  That is more than likely due to the suicide Ducati style retracing side stand. (stupid design!)  Anyway the bodywork is very nice with no breaks it has a few stress cracks but certainly completely showable.  I would rate it a 8 out of 10.  Not museum quality like my other listed Bimota's but very very nice. This bike was recently serviced and runs perfect.

20150902 1988 bimota yb7 left

Sporting the classy white with red and gold, the dual-headlight fairing is looking good.  Pete says it fits him nicely at 5'11", though a backpack would be handy with the monoposto seat fairing.  If you can stick with the bigger-bike guys to the start of the twisties, the little YB7 will show its specialty.  With a road title this is certainly a rare opportunity, and on the east coast...

20150902 1988 bimota yb7 shop

-donn

La Piccolina – 1988 Bimota YB7
Moto Guzzi September 2, 2015 posted by Donn

Glossy Black – 1995 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100

Following the final Le Mans model in 1993, Moto Guzzi introduced a similarly-styled model with an 1100cc engine.  Guzzi had tested the waters for a 1000cc 4-valve overhead cam Daytona model in 1992-93 and decided there were still a couple of good years in a carburetted pushrod machine.  With a revised frame and rear suspension, it was a fine platform for the 90 hp engine.  Not seen every day in black, the glossy forks and swingarm are a great look.

20150831 1995 moto guzzi sport 1100 right

1995 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100 for sale on eBay

20150831 1995 moto guzzi sport 1100 left rear

A couple of changes from other bikes in the Guzzi line-up from those years - absent is the linked brake system, possibly attempting to be more basic and sporty.  The 320mm  front and 283mm rear disk are up to the task of hauling down the 500 lb. machine.  Also the hip upside-down forks were traded for a more conventional 41mm fork tuned by White Power.  They also did the rear monoshock, which suspends the new Compact Reactive Drive Shaft ( CARC in Italian ), a parallelogram which helps isolate the force of the shaft drive from the suspension.  Though not super sporty, the hallmark shaft drive is maintenance-free.

20150831 1995 moto guzzi sport 1100 left frame detail

The 1100 here shows well and the present owner knows the previous owner and the bike's history, always a good thing.  Mileage at 13,000 is mid-pack.  Generally stock, it does have a Corbin seat and aftermarket exhaust with carbon mufflers, and new tires.  From the eBay auction:

This is a fairly rare bike. Very original and in exceptional condition. There are minor cosmetic imperfections from normal use but the bike has obviously been well looked after for its entire life. I know the history of it going back many years having bought it from a good friend who owned it for a long time.  The bike is largely original with the exception of the Corbin seats and a single gel battery conversion.  It also presently has a Brembo Gold front brake master cylinder on it as the original (included) needs to be re-built. It has a nice full aftermarket exhaust with an extremely nice OEM exhaust included.

20150831 1995 moto guzzi sport 1100 binnacle

He goes on to say that the front brake light switch isn't working but expects to repair it, and that the rear main seal was suspected of fouling the clutch but is working fine after an adjustment.

20150831 1995 moto guzzi sport 1100 cockpit

The 1100 Sport tested well at the time, a stable platform with lots of torque, the 17-inch front wheel aiding turn-in.  The revised rear suspension reduced the tendency of the rear suspension to extend under power, but made the torque effect of the big twin more noticeable, an improvement to a knowing rider.  The sculpted fairing, tank, airbox, and seat fairing all work well together ( especially in black with the classic red and gold emblems ) creating a strong, handsome presence.  The Sport 1000 is great mix of classic Guzzi character and modern components...

-donn

Glossy Black – 1995 Moto Guzzi Sport 1100
Aprilia August 30, 2015 posted by Donn

Beauty Tribute – 2003 Aprilia Falco SL1000R

Halfway between the RSV and the Futura on Aprilia's 2003 dealer card, you'll find the Falco 1000R.  Neither race replica nor sport-tourer, the Falco is a able performer with room for two and the feasibility of soft bags.  This Falco has been painted in tribute to Alex de Angelis, factory 250 rider back then, and blinged every way but Sunday. It's a treat for the eyes, and also for an afternoon on the road if not the track.

20150828 2003 aprilia falco fl1000r left front

2003 Aprilia Falco 1000R for sale on eBay

20150828 2003 aprilia falco fl1000r right fairing detail

With the 998cc Rotax twin slightly de-tuned from RSV Mille-spec, the Falco still has almost 120 horses on tap.  Hefty twin-spar aluminum cradle frame supports the 43mm Ohlins forks and monoshock rear.  Brakes are big at 320mm front / 220mm rear.  Despite pushing 450 lbs. fueled, the Falco is capable of a sub 12-second 1/4 mile and almost 160 mph top speed.  With its slightly cushier seat and higher bars, it's a more comfortable ride for a longer day.

20150828 2003 aprilia falco fl1000r left tank  20150828 2003 aprilia falco fl1000r right grip

20150828 2003 aprilia falco fl1000r right front wheel  20150828 2003 aprilia falco fl1000r left seat

The owner had blue and white ribbons applied to the fairings, a tribute to Alex de Angelis, who rode the Aprilia RSV 250 back then, and is riding an Aprilia in Moto GP this year for IodaRacing.  He also updated just about everything on the bike, bringing many systems up to the RSV level and lightening and color-coordinating everything else.  Truly too much to list, the owner provides this preamble in the eBay auction:

Here is for sale a very beautiful and unique motorcycle with tons of upgrades. It's one owner bike and I am the only owner and purchased this bike brand new from a dealership. Bike has always been cared for and always stored in heated garage under bike cover with a battery tender attached. Bike is always washed after every ride and oil is changed regularly. Always use Agip oil recommended by Aprilia. I have a lot of bikes (6) and this is one of my favorites but I need to thin out my herd.

If you ever wanted to have a beautiful and unique motorcycle with tons of upgrades here is your chance of owning one without doing all the work.

20150828 2003 aprilia falco fl1000r cockpit  20150828 2003 aprilia falco fl1000r left rear wheel

In between upgrades the owner somehow had time to live in NYC and ride the bike, looking great for 16,500 miles.  Widely reported as more fun on the road than the RSV, the Falco wasn't a winner in the showroom and only survived another year.  This particular Falco, with upgrades and accessories on the order of triple its value, does look like a winner...

20150828 2004 aprilia rsv250 de angelis

-donn

Beauty Tribute – 2003 Aprilia Falco SL1000R
Yamaha August 28, 2015 posted by Donn

Simple and Effective – 1985 Yamaha RZ-350 Kenny Roberts Edition

These days, it's longer to tell what's not onboard the RZ-350 than what is.  One of the last two-strokes in the U.S. market, there is no ECU, no 3-way adjustable dampers, no anti-dive, no traction control, no speed shifter, no fuel injection, no anti-lock brakes, etc., etc.  Just 375 lbs., 50 ponies, and maybe you.

20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition left

1985 Yamaha RZ-350 Kenny Roberts Edition for sale on eBay

20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition right front

Not completely without modern equipment, the RZ-350 did have YPVS, the electronically-controlled exhaust port, which improved rideability.  But in most other ways it was just plain riding, a 350cc two-stroke introduced in 1983, the 1985 year having a lightweight bikini fairing and red-white colors.  A 6-speed transmission helps keep the 350cc twin on the boil.  Air-preload forks are complemented by monoshock rear suspension.  Triple-disk brakes make more space between telephone poles.   4.10 x 18 front and rear tires are on pretty light looking wheels.

20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition cockpit  20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition left fairing detail

A number of racey mods update this RZ350 - catalyst-equipped exhaust removed in favor of expansion chambers with mufflers, and handling enhancements up front include fork brace and steering damper.  The oil metering pump has been secured in favor of pre-mix, a standard racetrack update.  Otherwise the bike looks clean and original.

20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition right tank  20150827 1985 yamaha rz350 roberts edition left engine

Though just five of the last 30 years are accounted for, the owner says in the eBay auction:

Collector quality 1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts Signature Edition with only 8889 actual miles in excellent condition.  All original paint and engine. Has Toomey pipes, Daytona fork brace and a steering stabilizer that appear to be period correct. The oil pump has been disabled and is set up for pre-mix only, very common safety modification. I have the dowel pin and instructions from the original owner if you want to put it back to stock.  I also have the original pipes as well as all the smog components, hoses etc. Bike also has its original tool kit and manual. Bike starts, runs, drives, stops, and idles as it should. Mechanically sound. The tires, while having plenty of tread, are starting to get weather checked. I have lovingly owned and enjoyed this bike in my collection for the last 5 years.

Might want to replace or make a close inspection of those tires and other wear parts, but this looks to be a great very sporty RZ...

-donn

Simple and Effective – 1985 Yamaha RZ-350 Kenny Roberts Edition